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J Educ Eval Health Prof > Epub ahead of print
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2018; 15: 20.
Published online August 17, 2018.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3352/jeehp.2018.15.20
[Epub ahead of print]
Instructional Piece: Conducting Simulation Studies for Computerized Adaptive Testing Using SimulCAT
Kyung (Chris) Tyek Han 
Graduate Management Admission Council, Reston, VA, USA
Correspondence  Kyung (Chris) Tyek Han ,Email: truetheta@gmail.com
Editor:  Sun Huh, Hallym University, Korea
Submitted: July 28, 2018  Accepted after revision: August 17, 2018
Abstract
Computerized adaptive testing (CAT) technology is widely used in a variety of licensing and certification examinations administered to health professionals in the United States. Many more countries worldwide are expected to adopt CAT for their national licensing examinations for health professionals due to its reduced test time and more accurate estimation of a test-taker’s performance ability. Continuous improvements to CAT algorithms lend stability and reliability of results for such examinations. This is what makes conducting simulation studies a critically important process for evaluating the design of CAT programs and their implementation. This report introduces the principles of SimulCAT, a software program developed for conducting CAT simulation studies. Key evaluation criteria for CAT simulation studies are explained and some guidelines are offered for practitioners and test developers. Also presented is a step-by-step tutorial example of a SimulCAT run. The SimulCAT program supports most of the methods used for the three key components of item selection in CAT: item selection criterion, item exposure control, and content balancing. Methods for determining test length (fixed or variable) and score estimation algorithms are also covered. The simulation studies presented include output files for response string, item use, standard error of estimation, Newton-Raphson iteration info, theta estimation, full response matrix, and true standard error of estimation. In CAT simulations, one condition cannot be generalized to another; therefore, it is recommended that practitioners perform CAT simulation studies in each stage of CAT development.
Keywords: Adaptive Testing, Simulation, Computer software


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